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the doubts begin the doubts begin

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Unread 02-23-2002, 12:13 PM
the doubts begin

I read the posts on this board about women who are suffering horrible things -- cancer, bleeding 3 weeks a month, daily crippling pain. I feel like such a lightweight in comparison. I get bad cramps one or two days a month, with moderate ones another 2-4 days.

As a teen, I had bad cramps 2-3 weeks out of the month, with horrible ones the week of my period. No medications touched them, including codeine (never tried heavier narcotics back then, though I now have a Vicodin prescription that I'll try when my next period starts). On a scale of 1-10 (10 being excruciating enough to pass out), I had a lot of 8 or 9's then. In my 20's, the cramps were still severe, but didn't last for as many days.

Now I'm in my mid-30's. The cramps are better now (generally between 2 and 4 on that scale), and only last a couple of days a month. I don't have fibroids. I may have endo (my gyn suspects adeno); I have a mystery intestinal ailment that could be caused by endo if I have it. I don't have kids; never felt called in that direction, nor does my husband. I don't feel like I'd miss my uterus. It's never worked properly anyway, so to me, it feels like a liability.

But I'm feeling like such a wiener. I'm contemplating major surgery for something I've been living with succesfully for over 20 years, something that got better over time -- though it's been at a plateau for several years, and "better" just means severe but not agonizing. I'm still housebound during those bad days, with my heating pad. I still schedule vacations and social plans around my period. I still suffer. But is it enough to justify surgery? I've gotten to where I can cope with the pain, and some months aren't that bad.

I really want to find out what's wrong with my intestines, and if I have endo or adeno; that's why I'm having a LAVH instead of a TVH, so they can look around in there (at 17, I had a lap that showed no endo, but I know it could develop anytime). And I really want the cramps to *stop*. I wouldn't mind never dealing with the mess of menstruation again. I can't think of a non-hyst cramp solution that's foolproof, and I've gotten so desperate to get my life back that foolproof is the only thing that seems acceptable to me.

I feel like I've tried everything else under the sun to fix this problem. Nothing worked. But am I being shallow or selfish taking such drastic measures to fix a problem that pales in comparison to some of the other ones I see here? It's not like my life depends on it. I'm OK most of the time. I feel guilty about planning surgery for what seems a much more trivial problem than most.

Thanks for listening -- this is weighing on me a lot right now. I go to the castle in 2 1/2 weeks. I just wish I felt more confident of my right to pursue a more comfortable life.

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Unread 02-23-2002, 12:25 PM
the doubts begin

Hi Lissa!

I think that rule number 1 should be to not compare yourself to others as far as reasons for your surgery. Did you know that the vast majority of hysterectomies are elective and not to save a life?

I also think that rule number 2 should be to think of this in terms of YOU, just YOU, and that you have to be comfortable with your decision going in. Being nervous about the surgery is one thing, and a very understandable thing. But having doubts is a heads up to do some more pondering, take your time, and not rush.

This is an irreversible surgery, a major surgery. There are many, many women here who have found great relief after their surgeries. There are a few who have suffered some complications. These are the realities you may be thinking of, but I think the bottom line is that you should be comfortable with your decision based on YOU and no one else before you proceed.

We are here for support regardless of how you choose to proceed.

Best wishes, sweetie - we're glad you're here!

Unread 02-23-2002, 12:27 PM
Hi LissaLee

You should never feel like you shouldn't have the right to a better and more productive life. Anything that is crippling your way of life is a stong reason to have something done. Sounds like you have exhausted all the better avenues of control with no complete relief. You have a DR that is also in that belief so please don't feel like you are doing something wrong. I had terrible periods when I was young and after I had my DS. My DR and I went into the quest for surgery because of my pain. After my hyst. in my post-op report the endo, ando, and cysts, plus fibroids were all there. They were on the inside. I was having trouble with my intestines also. My DR found I had had a cyst that had burst and set up infection and caused my ovary and intestines to form adhesions. So you are never alone. The ladies that have such horrible experiences is sad but doesn't mean that yours isn't just as important to correct. God bless and as you stated get your life back.

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